Playing Ball!

Thanks for stopping by!  I’d like to welcome Shae Connor, Margaret Labbe, Kerry Freeman and Kate McMurray, who are telling the world about their new anthology, Playing Ball. Gotta love a sport where the pants are tight, the guys are talented, and erm, everyone adjusts their crotches in public.

Shae Connor and Kate McMurray are here to talk about hot men in baseball!

When we asked P.D. if she’d like to host a stop on the Playing Ball blog tour, she readily agreed. She particularly wanted to see pictures of, we believe her words were, “reactions to groin adjustments on the mound.” LOL. Sadly, those are harder (heh) to come by than you’d think, but to make up for it, we decided to provide a different sort of eye candy: pretty, pretty pictures of pretty, pretty players.

We compiled a list of ten of our favorite baseball-playing hotties. Note that this list is by no means exclusive; we just had to cut ourselves off somewhere, or we’d never stop. As every baseball fan knows, tight baseball pants make everyone look at least 75% hotter anyway!

Players are listed alphabetically, because there’s no way we’d ever agree on a ranking. 😉

1curtisgranderson (2)Curtis Granderson

Shae: A great smile and a rockin’ bod go a very long way with me.

Kate: Not only is he totally adorable, he’s a great ball player and he does a lot of charity work. (He donates his endorsement money to inner-city kids! What a catch!)

2JJhardy (2).J. Hardy

Kate: Hello, sir. You have a cute smile! I want to give you a hug.

Shae: That’s not all I’d give him. Rawr. *cougar claws come out*

Derek Jeter

Shae: A Yankee-fan friend of mine refers to the Yankee’s team captain as “Captain Dreamboat,” and it’s easy to see why.

Kate: The Captain is forever and always in the hearts of every Yankee fan. (Jeter was part of the inspiration for Matt Blanco in Out in the Field. True story.) For the record, I have never been at a game and used the zoom on my camera to take pictures of his butt. Nope, not me.

Matt Kemp

Shae: Well, he’s dating Rihanna. Definitely an upgrade for her!

4mattkemp (2)Kate: Oh, Matt Kemp. All the ladies in my fantasy league fought for you last year, and it’s easy to see why. I lost that fight. It was sad.

Nick Markasis

Kate: Thank you, Shae, for introducing me to this one. Hello, Nick. Hello.

Shae: You’re very welcome. Let’s just sit back and admire for a bit, shall we?

Joe Mauer

Shae: He is absolutely adorable. Let’s see if we can tear Kate away from drawing hearts around him to get an actual comment…

Kate: *siiigh* I loves him. He’s so pretty.

7busterposey (2) Buster Posey

Shae: Two words here: arms and thighs. *STARES*

Kate: He’s baby-faced, but ARMS. Wow.

Grady Sizemore

Kate: Grady has spent some time earning points for my fantasy teams over the years, so I’ve followed his career for a while. It’s hard to argue with talent and handsome good looks.

Shae: I refrained from choosing his “mug” shot for this post. (Go on and Google it. You know you want to.)

Chase Utley

Shae: He’s got the eyes, legs, and scruff that dreams are made of.

Kate: It’s a damn shame that poor Chase has spent so much time injured the last few years. But he can, um, warm my bench any day.

10davidwright (2)David Wright

Kate: I still remember when he arrived in New York and every woman (and some men) in the city fell instantly in lust. I saw him play at one of the last games at Shea, and he was great even though the Mets weren’t.

Shae: One of the best smiles in professional sports. He just looks like he’s having the time of his life, probably because he is.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`

Aaaand….. we have a little excerpt from Margaret Labbe’s story, Wild Pitch:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Wild Pitch by Marguerite Labbe
Part of the Playing Ball anthology from Dreamspinner Press
© 2013 Marguerite Labbe

The pop fly went straight up the center and was caught easily by the shortstop. Ruben came jogging forward as the end of the inning was called. “Didn’t get enough sleep last night, Alan?” he called teasingly, and Alan narrowed his eyes. Oh no, he was not going to be the only one who had a hard time concentrating today.

“Just remembering The Maltese Falcon,” Alan said, patting Ruben’s back as he came to an abrupt halt. “Makes it a little hard to stay focused.”

Ruben turned to look at him, his gaze hot and intense, and Alan knew he’d gotten under his skin. He was learning to recognize the little signals from Ruben that gave away his interest, like the way those eyes of his would darken even more, or the way he’d kind of lean in toward Alan. “Good movie,” Ruben said, after a minute examination of Alan’s face. “Good memories associated with it.”

“Good, hmm?” Alan let his gaze rake over Ruben and grinned wickedly as the other man shook his head in bemusement. “I can think of many other adjectives.”

Ruben leaned closer still and lowered his voice. “You’re a damn tease, Hartner. I never would’ve thought that of you.”

“Goes to show you don’t know everything about me yet.” Alan backed away toward his dugout with another grin, spreading his hands wide. “Kind of exciting, isn’t it?”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Playing Ball
Shae Connor, Kate McMurray, Kerry Freeman, and Marguerite Labbe
Cover by Aaron Anderson
Published by Dreamspinner Press
270 pages

Buy at Dreamspinner: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4197 (ebook)

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4198 (paperback)

Buy at ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-playingball-1304727-166.html

Buy at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Playing-Ball-ebook/dp/B00FF0X2BE/

Blurb

Baseball—America’s favorite pastime—provides a field wide open for romance. A Home Field Advantage may not help when Toby must choose between the team he’s loved all his life and the man he could love for the rest of it. In 1927, Skip hides his sexuality to protect his career until he meets One Man to Remember. Ruben and Alan fell victim to a Wild Pitch, leaving them struggling with heartache and guilt, and now they’ve met again. And on One Last Road Trip,
Jake retires and leaves baseball behind, hoping to reconnect with Mikko and get a second chance at love.

The anthology contains the following novellas:

Home Field Advantage by Shae Connor

Toby MacMillan, grandson of Atlanta Braves owner Ray MacMillan, lives for baseball and loves his team. When he meets new team member Caleb Browning, an innocent welcome-to-the-big-leagues dinner leads to a not-so-innocent night together. Toby quickly calls things off, afraid of the ramifications of their tryst, but the two men develop a friendship that soon becomes more.

After Caleb takes a fastball to the head, their budding romance hits the news—and Toby’s grandfather hits the roof. When Ray MacMillan demands Toby deny the relationship, Toby must choose between the team he’s loved all his life and the man he could love for the rest of it.

One Man to Remember by Kate McMurray

It’s 1927, and in New York City, Babe Ruth and the Yankees’ unstoppable batting lineup, Murderers’ Row, is all anyone can talk about. Across town, the Giants’ rookie infielder Skip Littlefield racks up hits, creating a streak to rival the Babe’s. Worried his secrets could get out, he avoids the spotlight, but he catches the attention of lauded sports reporter Walter Selby, a notorious dandy whose sexuality is an open secret. Skip reluctantly agrees to an interview, and
mutual attraction is sparked. Skip can only hope the more charismatic stars will draw attention away from his romance with Walt. Otherwise, his career and everything he loves is at stake.

Wild Pitch by Marguerite Labbe

Ruben Martell fell in love with Alan Hartner during their years playing baseball. They stepped over the foul line once, but the encounter left them struggling with heartache and guilt, turning away from each other to focus on their families. Now retired from the majors, they run a batting cage together and coach rival Little League teams as they juggle fatherhood and being single again. Though Ruben has never given up hope that Alan might look at him as more than a
friend, Alan seems determined to keep things the way they’ve always been. But long-buried feelings and desires have a way of resurfacing, and Ruben can’t wait forever.

One Last Road Trip by Kerry Freeman

With the last game of his Major League Baseball career behind him, Jake Wilson hits the road. Years have passed, but he never got over the romance he shared with Mikko Niemi back in college. Finally, he’s ready to do something about it. He starts with some crucial visits to his ex-wife in New Mexico, his son in Oklahoma, and his daughter in Tennessee. But his true destination is Mikko’s home in Georgia, where he’s hoping to get a second chance at love.

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One response to “Playing Ball!

  1. Very compelling choices! I’m not as well-versed in baseball as I am in hockey, but Kevin Frandsen was always my favorite (especially since, like me, he’s a San Jose Sharks hockey fan)!

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